Honda brings out the all-new, third-generation Jazz
FOLLOWING on the success of the first two generations of the Honda Jazz, Honda Cars Phils. Inc. (HCPI), one of the country’s leading auto brands, last week unveiled the third generation of the subcompact hatchback model.
The all-new Jazz is the fourth car released by HCPI this year, coming after the all-new Accord and City, and new Civic variants that are packed with Modulo and Mugen accessories.
“Honda does not only represent its advanced technology but, more importantly, embody the joy and passion in creating automobiles,” said Toshio Kuwahara, president and general manager at HCPI, in a speech during the new car’s launch program. “As we unveil the all-new Honda Jazz, we hope to further strengthen Honda’s differentiation in vehicle craftsmanship.”
The HCPI executive noted that the original Jazz (called Fit in other countries, including its home market) was introduced in Japan in 2001, subsequently becoming available in 160 countries. To date around 5.16 million examples of the car have been sold globally.
Kuwahara added the Jazz was first introduced in the Philippines in 2004 and has “led the way to the birth of a new segment in the car industry—the hatchback market.”
“Locally, it has captured the hearts of almost 16,150 customers, occupying almost 50 percent of the total hatchback sales since 2004,” he said.
Offering more ease and comfort while driving, the all-new Jazz is equipped with a seating configuration Honda calls ULTR, which stands for Utility, Long, Tall and Refresh modes. This “Ultra” seat is flexible and easy to handle, and its advanced technologies are touted to bring safety and confidence to the car’s occupants.
Inspired by the “Sophisticated Futuristic Cockpit” interior concept, the latest Jazz is not only versatile and functional but is also complemented by a cockpit that is as advanced and high-quality as the exterior. Despite being a subcompact—it measures 3,955 millimeters long (55 millimeters more than the previous model), 1,695 millimeters wide and 1,525 millimeters tall—the car is spacious, partly a result of its increased length and a wheelbase that grew 30 millimeters to 2,530 millimeters. This allows the car to carry items as long as 2,260 millimeters and as tall as 1,000 millimeters.
The latest Jazz features a push-start button controlled by a smart key that automatically locks and unlocks the doors. It also offers a seven-inch touch-screen display audio system with hands-free telephone and audio streaming via Bluetooth connectivity, which can also be operated with buttons mounted on the steering wheel. Taking advantage of the audio system is an auxiliary jack, USB and the new HDMI port that connects and mirrors smart phones on the display screen.
Unlike the previous Jazz models, the all-new one is available only with a 1.5-liter engine, the car no longer offered with the 1.3-liter power plant. Fitted with i-VTEC, the Euro4-compliant 1.5-liter engine makes 118hp at 6,600rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. It is matched to either a five-speed manual transmission or a new continuously variable transmission.
Helping make the new Jazz fuel-efficient is Honda’s Eco Assist system with Econ mode, which alters engine, drive-by-wire throttle and transmission responses, and even air-conditioning settings, to maximize energy use. An eco “coaching” light changes color depending on throttle input, encouraging fuel-efficient driving habits.
In terms of safety features, Honda’s new model has ABS with EBD, driver and passenger SRS airbags and side airbags. Some variants have side curtain airbags, a multi-view rear camera with dynamic guidelines, emergency stop signal, hill start assist, vehicle stability assist and motion-adaptive electric power steering.
Standard on higher variants are 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, LED tail lights, a rear spoiler and storage spaces that can fit gadgets as big as a tablet.
The new Jazz comes in six color options and four variants—the 1.5 V M/T that costs P768,000; 1.5 V CVT that’s priced at P808,000; 1.5 VX CVT that sells for P908,000 (to arrive in showrooms in August); and the top-spec 1.5 VX CVT+, which goes for P948,000.